Browsing articles in "Leading Internal Comms"
Feb 9, 2014
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IC Best Practices for Future Success

Recently I had the chance to review Melcrum’s latest report on the future of the field, titled: “Inside Internal Communication: Groundbreaking Innovations for a New Future.” The report outlined five best practices to transform the industry. A summary of each of the five is below. (Click here to learn more.)

This Friday, the Atlanta Internal Communications Leadership Consortium (ICLC) will meet to discuss one of the five best practices: Collaboration. The first of four sessions for 2014, the group will gather to uncover the role of internal communications in building organizational connection and collaboration. (What is the ICLC? Click here to learn about this exciting new group.)

Five internal communication innovations representing the best of a new future:

1. Agile processes for improved planning

Internal communications must be cross-functional, flexible and constantly innovative to respond to the complex environments we find ourselves in these days. We must develop a “sophisticated approach to strategy and planning” if we are to be effective and find success.

2. Driving dialogue to enhance employee advocacy

Leaders must connect and engage with employees if we are to see organizational challenge take hold. Employees want to understand the why behind strategies, they want to be involved in achieving it – and they need to be involved in the decision making.

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Dec 11, 2013
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Building a social media strategy: The Four C’s

There is a lot in the blogosphere today around the use of social media. For those of us owning communications at our organizations, the challenge isn’t as much the “what” but instead the “how.” How do we think about the components of our social media strategy in a way that gives leadership a framework for what we’re trying to do? Here I’ve come up with a few quick tips. To approach the 900 pound gorilla that is social media, examine the following (in particular order): Culture, Content, Capabilities and Channels.

Culture: First, you want to make sure you’re not introducing social media just for the sake of it. Just because it’s the thing to do does not mean it makes sense in every situation. The use of social media can actually work counter to what you’re trying to do if you’re not careful. But it can also be used quite well to enhance collaboration within your organization… if in fact your culture supports it. To leverage social media fully, organizations must be transparent, flexible and nimble in responding to feedback. They must want to harness grassroots feedback and ideas and be willing to relinquish some control in order to harness the voice of the employee.

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Oct 22, 2013
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Lessons Learned: Political Campaigns

It’s election season and for many of us, early voting has already begun. As we inch our way towards the first Tuesday in November, I believe there are great lessons to be learned for internal communications professionals…

Regardless of your political viewpoint, without question one of the most well played communications efforts can be seen in the Obama presidential campaign. I thought it then and still marvel at it today. There were so many things done right. When I stand back and look at it from the lens of a communications professional, I see three lessons learned: the use of data, channel diversity and stakeholder engagement.

#1: The use of data

When I think about data, the campaign strategy was designed based on what they knew about the audiences. They knew as much about their audience as would any marketing company. They took the data and customized their messaging, timing, vehicle, location, etc. No matter what was thrown in the mix that could have been a divergent, they didn’t move from the overall strategy. They stayed on course and executed the plan based on the data.

As communications professionals, many times we operate based on instinct. However, we can’t be confident nor can convince leadership to be confident in us unless we ground our strategies and plans in data. We need to be just as data savvy in order to successfully execute and create the impact we desire.

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Oct 3, 2013
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Lessons Learned: Nonprofit Organizations, Part II

Previously, I began talking about lessons we internal communications leaders can learn from nonprofit organizations. Click here to read previous blog entry. Here are remaining lessons to consider.

Be sure to share your thoughts!

Using a multi-channel, multi-audience approach to communicate and connect
This is something we see particularly in faith-based institutions. Because you often have multiple generations connected with that institution, organizations realize they must communicate in every way. These nonprofits are very focused on how information moves down and throughout the organization. A single message looks very different communicated to young adults and baby boomers in the language and channels they prefer. The intended recipients, the audience, become the driver for how information is communicated.

Taking a strength-based approach to harnessing the skills of the collective
Nonprofits, the good ones, are masters at identifying and utilizing the strengths of the people familiar with the organization. Because there are often finite resources, leaders try to determine what people enjoy and empower them to do something impactful for the organization based on that strength. This creates a strong value proposition. For volunteer recruitment, the message is, here you can take what you’re passionate about and do it here. This is a bottom-up approach of empowering people to impact their organizations. This grassroots approach connects with people in the for-profit worlds as well.

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